Although “scenic spots” and “scenery spots” both seem harmless and understandable on the surface, most native speakers find one of these two unnatural.
The words “scenic” and “scenery” are both related to “scenes,” or more precisely, “views.” However, the former is an adjective and the latter is a noun.
Apart from that, there are other interesting things to know about these two phrases. Luckily for you, that’s what we will cover today.
Without further ado, let’s get right into it.
What is the difference between “scenic spots” and “scenery spots”?
“Scenic spots” and “scenery spots” both make use of the base word “scene” as modifiers for the word “spots.” Although both are grammatically possible, “scenic spots” is more appropriate. “Scenery spots” is redundant because both “scenery” and “spots” refer to the same idea which is “places.”
Understanding the vocabulary glitch between “scenic spots” and “scenery spots”
While there could be many ways to justify why “scenery spots” is grammatically correct, “scenic spots” is still the way better phrase to use.
The phrase “scenery spots,” although used by some language communities online, is repetitive or redundant in meaning.
Well, we can’t blame anyone for thinking that “scenery spots” is also correct. After all, the phrase could somehow make sense in itself because meaning largely is context-dependent.
“Scenic” is actually the correct adjective to use if we mean to say “attractive” or “beautiful.” “Scenery” is a noun and therefore it is used superfluously with the word “spots.”
We might as well call this a lexical or vocabulary glitch that may have been passed on mindlessly among people.
The same idea goes with how people incorrectly use the phrase “work a job” instead of “do a job” in actual speech.
If we were to dive a couple of miles deeper into the nuances between the phrases “scenic spots” and “scenery spots,” we’ll find out more interesting stuff than what meets the eye.
So, now, let’s have a look at the subtle grammatical aspects of both expressions to really see why one is a better choice than the other.
How to Use “Scenic Spots” in a Sentence
The expression “scenic spots” is what we use for describing beautiful or attractive places. In other words, those places that we want to lay our eyes on.
As this expression is strictly related to places or more precisely travel destinations, we would find it more in articles or discussions related to travel and tours.
If you’ve ever wondered whether “traveling for business” or “traveling on business” is also correct, then you are spending your time on the right website for these curious questions.
Not limited to leisure texts, it is also common to encounter this phrase in travel English books for second language learners, especially adults.
Travel blogs, magazines, news, and fiction books may also make use of this expression when they want to promote great tourist spots around the world.
Searching out for or exploring scenic spots is definitely a must-do activity, especially if our budget allows it.
So, while we are still young and able, we must pack light and hit the road to the most exciting places at least within our country if not the world.
“Scenic” goes beyond the meaning “can be seen” even though it sounds like it. It is an adjective that actually means “attractive” or “beautiful.”
However, we use this adjective for “sceneries” in particular, which also means “spots” in the context of our discussion today.
While it is grammatically possible to say “scenic sceneries,” we tend to avoid doing so because of how it is stylistically empty.
Put simply, it’s a bad combination of words. We could also more particularly say that “scenic” and “sceneries” do not collocate. This is the reason why the phrase does not sound native.
More particularly the phrase “scenic sceneries” sounds redundant or superfluous. We certainly don’t want to do that when writing.
So, what we do instead is to look for another word that suggests the same meaning apart from “sceneries.” That’s where the word “spots” comes in.
As you may observe, the phrase “scenic spots” does not sound repetitive anymore, which apparently is our main goal when writing.
To be fair, we can also make use of “scenic sceneries” for effect. However, this time, it should be for rhyming or alliteration purposes, just like in tongue twisters and nursery rhymes.
In normal instances like writing a cover letter for a summer job as a local tour guide in your area, it would be wise to use “scenic spots” in your paper.
To see how we can make use of the expression “scenic spots” in actual sentences, here are a few examples for your reference:
“Scenery spots” is most likely just a word usage glitch of the English language. More precisely, we might consider it an issue with collocations or words that naturally go together.
While we can argue that “scenery spots” is grammatically correct in its own right, using the phrase thoughtlessly can invite criticisms from many grammar purists.
If we are to promote the correct or at least suggested usage of the English language for clearer communication, then we have to avoid using “scenery spots” in both writing and speaking.
The expression “scenery spots” may also be found in situations where “scenic spots” is used like feature travel articles and even travel English books.
It is also used to mean “attractive places” or “best travel destinations” around the world. But then again, we might have to steer clear of that usage from now on.
In terms of grammar, “scenery” is used as a noun modifier to the word “spots.” This means that although “scenery” is a noun, it is used to describe another noun in the phrase.
Other common examples of phrases using adjectival or attributive nouns include phrases like “love story,” “soccer ball,” “coffee cup,” and “dog collar.”
While it is grammatically possible to use nouns to modify nouns, we still have to consider language conventions to avoid misinterpretations, or worse, negative criticisms.
The negative criticism may come from the redundant idea suggested by “scenery spots,” which is literally just like saying “place places.”
This is because the word “spots” in “scenery spots” is used to mean “places” or “destinations” rather than “stains” or “marks.”
So, again, if we were to implement strict grammatical rules of the English language, we need to refrain from using “scenery spots” from now on.
What we can do instead is to make use of other nice expressions similar to “scenic spots,” which is the correct one, in speech and writing.
The section below is dedicated to some useful alternatives for “scenic spots.”
Other ways to say “scenic spots”
Although you might be prompted to use either “scenic area” or “scenery area” as an alternative, it would also be best to keep these expressions at an arm’s length.
Or, at least, you can stick with “scenic area” instead of “scenery area” in the actual speech to avoid misunderstandings and criticisms.
Anyways, you need not worry about these word salads anymore because we’ve got you covered below.
“Unsung places” means “places that are underappreciated or unknown.” This is a great expression to use when referring to some of the least visited areas that are actually scenic.
“Epic landscapes” suggests the same meaning as “remarkable or impressive land views.” This is a great choice when talking about incredible mand-mkade and natural landforms.
The next show will tackle ten of the most epic landscapes of Australia.
“Top destinations” simply means “best places to visit.” This is a good choice when you want to avoid ambiguities in meaning to cover a wider range of audiences.
Bali and Bora Bora are two of the top destinations that you might want to visit in summer.
“Extraordinary havens” is something you might want to use for effect when writing. This phrase means “not just the regular places” but rather “paradises.”
Get ready to get amazed by the most extraordinary havens of the Pacific.
“Second-to-none spots” is a more creative way to say “best or top spots.” This expression is also suggested if you want to do more than just “top places.”
Paris and London are definitely second-to-none spots when we talk about Europe.
“Breathtaking sceneries” is also a another emphatic choice instead of “scenic spots.” This is if we also want to convey more impact to whatever scenic views we are referring to.
The breathtaking sceneries from the mountain top did not fail to amaze Elaine.
“Panoramic views” is also a great alternative for “scenic spots,” although it literally means “endless sceneries.” This is great to use when looking at sceneries from a 360-degree angle.
The panoramic views from the roof deck inspired Marco once again.
“Picturesque towns” is something best reserved for town or village views. When you say something is picturesque, it means it is so beautiful that it is picture-worthy.
The picturesque towns of Varenna are one of the best stops in Italy.
Frequently Asked Questions on “Scenic Spots” vs. “Scenery Spots”
What does “scenery” mean?
“Scenery” means attractive views, natural or man-made, that are travel and picture-worthy. This word suggests a positive connotation and therefore it has to reserved to convey such meaning.
How can we use “scenic” in a sentence?
“Scenic” is an adjective that can be used to describe impressive or remarkable views of places, such as landforms and coastlines. “Scenic spots,” “scenic parkways,” and “scenic photos” are some of the common ways to use it.
What does “spots” in “scenic spots” mean?
“Spots” in the phrase “scenic spots” means “destinations,” “places,” or “views.” It does not mean “mark” or “stain” in this case. That said, “scenic spots” means “beautiful places to see” in simple terms.
The confusion between using either “scenic spots” or scenery spots” suggests that some people may not be very familiar with certain English language rules.
Nevertheless, it also suggests that language itself is dynamic and alive and that it thrives along with us humans whether we like it or not.
Hey fellow Linguaholics! It’s me, Marcel. I am the proud owner of linguaholic.com. Languages have always been my passion and I have studied Linguistics, Computational Linguistics and Sinology at the University of Zurich. It is my utmost pleasure to share with all of you guys what I know about languages and linguistics in general.